Imburse announced as finalist at the PayTech Awards 2023

Imburse has been announced as a finalist for the Best Business Payments System category at the Fintech Futures PayTech Awards.

This category is awarded to a software provider for its payments solution for businesses that is built on modern technologies, has comprehensive functionality, and delivers clear and measurable improvements to its users.

The PayTech Awards now in their sixth year, recognise excellence and innovation in the use of IT in the finance and payment industry worldwide. The 2023 PayTech Awards ceremony will take place in the fabulous Merchant Taylors’ Exchange in London on 30th June 2023.

The insurance payments issue

According to the UK Payments Markets Report, in 2021, 57% of all UK payments were made using cards, and businesses made over £5.5bn payments (£3bn on a b2b basis and £2.5bn, b2c) – 14% more than the year before.

The payment landscape is changing and with customers having higher expectations and experience perceptions, industries are under increasing pressure to deliver a frictionless experience between different payment types, offering maximum flexibility, while minimising costs.

Within the insurance sector, despite the collection of premiums and payment of claims being ‘mission critical’ to the insurance value proposition, and only 20% of customers willing to receive physical cheques as a claims payout method (PYMNTS data), this area is not considered a core competency.
Most business models fail to identify where the function sits, which means leaders are unable to overcome their payment challenges. Does payment responsibility sit in operations, IT, finance or customer services?

This lack of ownership brings lower investment into dedicated payment resources, payment teams, technology, ongoing maintenance and support structures. And with no central area of responsibility, there’s often a fragmented IT architecture unable to support a single-view process.

So even if the front-end of the business may be digital, initially meeting customers’ needs, the back-end (operations), tend to lag behind, causing problems at those key pain points; making and receiving payments.

The growth in payment options means differing solutions need to be managed across lines of business and potentially global groups, but as this increases operating expenses and capital expenditure, few insurers recognise payments as a core competency and build teams to streamline and extend customers’ options.

They believe building and running a payments team will not add value. This in turn results in missed payments, causing a loss of customers/churn/customer retention, which erodes top-line results. And the cost to chase up lost income erodes bottom-line results.

Insurers anecdotally report that when they incur missed premium collections, their usual process is to retry the same payment method linked to the transaction, commonly resulting in a 40% or lower success rate.

Customer analytics platform, CallMiner, says the UK insurance sector is among the top three for customer churn, costing insurance companies over £50bn per annum. PwC confirms customers rank easy payments as the third most valuable asset when it comes to the customer experience.

Where does Imburse come in?

Launched in 2018, by Co-Founders Oliver Werneyer and Carl Strempel, Imburse has 41 employees based in London, Zurich and Lisbon, and was recently acquired by US-based Duck Creek Technologies. Its payment platform for insurers is available on a stand-alone basis or through a multitude of CRM and core systems.

Imburse’s cloud-native software-as-a-service payment solution brings greater ease and efficiency into end-to-end insurance transactions.

Clients include: iptiQ, Generali, Swiss Re, Zurich, Beazley, CA Seguros, ICEA Lion and Insure and Go. Imburse is also a partner of insurance tech platform providers Guidewire, msg, Sapiens and RightIndem, and supports system integrators Accenture, Baringa and Bearing Point.

Imburse enables insurance carriers to quickly connect to the entire payments ecosystem at a lower cost, seamlessly integrate with existing finance infrastructure and processes, and manage multiple partners for collections and disbursements, all in one place. The consumer-friendly platform provides policyholders with an easy-to-use, flexible payments experience and the ability to quickly and securely direct payments.

How does Imburse solve the insurance payments issue?

The tech, described as middleware, enables all applications, even those traditionally unable to exchange data, to communicate with each other. Middleware sits between an operating system/database and applications (client requests on the front-end and the back-end resource being requested), and does the heavy lifting, performing roles that may be covered by teams including: payments, collections, claims payout, loyalty and accounts.

This cloud-based payment software helps insurers grow and develop propositions – particularly important when moving into new markets such as parametric insurance where pre-specified payouts are based upon trigger events. The solution also ensures insurers comply with PSD2/global Open Banking regulations.

Aside from solving integration/data protection issues, Imburse helps insurers better manage their payment systems. Unified reporting, for example, gathers all payment data from various providers and compiles it into a single data-set, improving visibility and enriching analytics. The rental option gives insurers access to continually evolving software, rather than paying for in-house upgrades and teams.

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